Incredibly strong and successful alpine ski racer Daron Rahlves quit ski racing last spring, now he’s focusing on pro skiing, X Games and the backcountry. He hails from the Tahoe, California area. After being skunked when Alaskan weather shut down filming last spring with Matchstick Productions, Rahlves says he’ll be staying local and trying for some footage in “amazing terrain” that they access by snowmobile in the Sierra. Take note: sled skiing is big and will only grow.More here.
Is celebrity backcountry a trend? Snowboard champion Gretchen Bleiler wants to become a more multi-talented rider. How? She’ll be hitting the rails, and yes, going backcountry according to an article in the Aspen Times. And what’s it like being a celebrity cutie snowboarder? Among other things, you get pressure to expose your famous flesh in skin pics. The article tells a funny story about Bleiler posing for a rearward shot and covering her derrier with a sheet, only to find the published shot lacked the strategic coverage. Still just her rear, so what was the big deal? According to her mother,”She hates her rear end… she wouldn’t be able to do what she does without one, but she was very, very upset!” Sounds like it’s time for Gretchen to get out in some peaceful backcountry where the photographers are more interested in backlight than backside (at least while they’re shooting).
Sad events in Canada. An ice climber was killed in an avalanche this past Sunday in the Banff area. The ice climber was seconding a pitch when a wet slide hit and buried him under about eight feet of suffocating slop. He was still attached to the rope and his partner tried to dig him out using an ice ax and helmet — without success. More here.
A mission here at the WildSnow household is to get our son a good college education. I think he’s wondering how you ski and do that at the same time. Last evening he discovered an Outside Magazine article about freeskier Justus Meyer having a Harvard degree. Perhaps the boy will by headed for the ivy now? I’d better sell more advertising.
Back to Colorado: I can report that we’ve got a typical early winter happening. Lots of snow on the ground, but clear days and nights that are starting to scare me. Such leads to surface re-crystalization that makes a good surface for avalanches, and worse, might start cooking up some sugar snow near the ground. We don’t need tons of snow to prevent these occurrences, just regular dustings and cloudy nights. Watching and waiting.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.